WASHINGTON (CNN) — The doctor from a viral COVID-19 video shared by President Donald Trump this week has previously stated that DNA from space aliens is being used in medicine and that humans have sex with demons in their sleep.
Stella Immanuel, the physician featured most prominently in the video by a group called America’s Frontline Doctors, has made the claims in articles and video sermons posted on her website. She is both a pediatrician and a religious minister in Houston.
Online, she has claimed that medical issues such as cysts, infertility and difficulty getting pregnant can be caused by sex with “spirit husbands” and “spirit wives” — a process by which witches and demons have sex with people in their dreams.
In 2015, Immanuel issued a sermon where she laid out a supposed Illuminati plan, in which doctors were using space alien DNA to treat people, the Daily Beast reports.
The more recent video featuring Immanuel’s COVID-19 claims was shared by President Trump on Twitter but later removed from major social media sites, which said it violated policies on spreading medical misinformation.
It shows members of the group America’s Frontline Doctors standing on the steps of the Supreme Court claiming that masks aren’t necessary to prevent the spread of coronavirus and promoting hydroxychloroquine as a cure. Both claims are contradicted by credible scientific studies.
America’s Frontline Doctors says its members are practicing doctors who have treated patients with the coronavirus. But it wasn’t immediately clear how many patients the doctors have treated.
The group is backed by Tea Party Patriots, which promoted their news conference this week at the Supreme Court. Both Tea Party Patriots and the doctors group have decried extended economic shutdowns meant to contain the spread of the virus.
Simone Gold, the group’s leader, has said that people do not need to wear masks and has downplayed the severity of the virus, including in May when she compared it to the flu and called it “really a disease of patients with pre-existing conditions and even more so nursing home patients.”
Trump has been a leading proponent of hydroxychloroquine, and even took a course himself when some members of the White House staff became infected in May. But support for the drug in the scientific and medical communities is limited.
Numerous studies have found that hydroxychloroquine is not effective and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently withdrew an order that allowed the drug’s use as a emergency treatment for COVID-19.
The World Health Organization also discontinued trials, stating “interim trial results show that hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir produce little or no reduction in the mortality of hospitalized COVID-19 patients when compared to standard of care.”
Some researchers remain interested in determining whether the drug could be of some use in fighting the virus. That includes the team behind a Henry Ford Health System study, which suggested the drug could cut the death rate of patients significantly. Other researchers questioned the study’s methodology and the relevance of its findings, and the Henry Ford team itself has said more trials will be necessary.
Speaking after Trump’s tweets on the matter on Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci — the top US infectious disease specialist — said he agreed with the Food and Drug Administration that “the overwhelming prevailing clinical trials that have looked at the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine have indicated that it is not effective in coronavirus disease.”
Trump insisted otherwise during a Tuesday briefing, saying many people have suggested hydroxychloroquine is safe and effective against coronavirus.
And Trump defended the video which was later removed and Immanuel, the controversial doctor it featured: “There was a woman who was spectacular in her statements about it and she’s had tremendous success with it. And they took her voice off.”
But he seemed to back off when pressed about the statements made in the video itself, including that “you don’t need masks” and the doctor’s past statements about alien DNA used in medical treatments.
“I thought her voice was an important voice, but I know nothing about her,” Trump said before abruptly departing the briefing room.
On Wednesday, the President reiterated that he was “very impressed” with Immanuel and the other doctors in the video.
Trump said he didn’t know any of the doctors’ histories before retweeting the message, and decried the decision to remove it from social media, saying “they took down her voice.”
“She was making a statement about hydroxychloroquine with other doctors that swear by it, that thinks its great,” Trump said on the South Lawn. “I was very impressed by her. I know nothing about her. I had never seen her before.”
Trump reiterated his support for the unproven anti-malarial, saying: “All I want to do is save lives.”
“I happen to be a believer in hydroxy,” Trump said.
Asked later about studies showing a number of Americans might not accept a vaccine, Trump said he wasn’t concerned — but that he was more focused on treatments.
“I am a big therapeutic person,” he said.